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Old 06-03-2009, 10:37   #1
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Cruising with Kids: Home School Ideas ?

Very Seriously thinking of giving up the daily grind. My wife & I are in our Mid 30's, have very good equity in our home, own our vehicle, own our existing boat (a 25ft Catalina but considering an upgrade to a 29ft that if we do it right will own outright).

My wife has a degeneriative muscle disease that is being coped with & oddly, sailing seems to have a healing effect on. And of course a trip to the caribbean in the winter seems to completely cure the problem.

So we are thinking, Why not?
We have a "money" plan started. But we have a nine year old daughter still in school. Does anyone have any ideas on contiuing education?. We live in Ontario Canada. Does anyone know of any provincial programs?.

Our daughter is thrilled & I know the life would certainly "teach" her more about the world than a normal school would. Looking forward to any suggestions.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:24   #2
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Things to Think about when Home Schooling

We have been on the boat for 8 years and have Home Schooled the entire time. Our Daughter is now going into the 9th grade. I would make sure that you have a good curriculum. Talk to the school she is in now and ask for their assistance. Some are very helpful.

Google Home Schooling. There is a wealth of information out there for you to choose from. Think about what strengths and weaknesses you have...are you good in Math? English? a foreign language? Recreational books for young adults are hard to find much less other young people.

It will take a good 3 hours a day for school and that doesn't count the prep-time.

We have found it useful to use inland trips as extra curricular activities with a report written afterward. It is important to have a scheduled time when school happens. It can be too easy to let it slid! This is especially true when you are underway or in a lovely anchorage and the crystal clear water is calling you.

Think about online help. Not everywhere in the Caribbean has internet. I hope this helped a little. Good Luck! Home Schooling can be very rewarding for both you and your daughter.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:26   #3
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I don’t know about Canada, but we’ve been home schooling our 12 and 14 year olds.

This is the third year since tacking them out of the British curriculum.

Before we did I asked they’re Headmaster how many hours a week it would take one teacher to teach the both of them the material…His answer surprised me…4 to 6 hour a WEEK!
Amazing, no!

Bottom line is we employed a full time teacher and the results are amazing.

We get the subject material via post.

I think if the child has already developed some social skills this is a good alternative to conventional education.

PS we are not living on a boat.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:46   #4
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You might try Google. There is a link to the Ontario Ministry policies on Home schooling.

Policy/Program Memorandum No.*131 > Ministry of Education

Fiona MacCall and Paul Howard of Ontario completed a circumnavigation with their 2 children on a 28 foot steel junk rigged boat.

Her email and phone number are on this site:

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Old 06-03-2009, 12:00   #5
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We are also in Ontario and are leaving in June for a year. Our kids are 6 and 8.
Not sure if it's a Provincial Policy, but our school board has no obligation to provide any support for homeschooling, so there isn't a defined program you can sign-up for.

We had a sit down with the Principal at our childrens school. He explained the policy (or lack thereof).
He said of course they would support us in every way . We will get together this spring with the teachers the kids would normally have next year. They will provide us with all the hand-outs for the year, as well as any textbooks we might need. We will send completed tests and exams to them as we are able.

The no policy thing is basically if someone decides they simply don't like the teachers or the education their children are receiving then it's up to them to make the changes, not the school board. As our children's Principal explained, they view this trip as a wonderful opportunity for our children and are fully supportive.

Hope this helps,
Mark.

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Old 06-03-2009, 15:51   #6
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We're in the same boat, so to speak, but still in the planning stages. When we were in BC, we gave serious thought to using SIDES .:Your Path, Your Pace - SIDES:.
When we came to Ontario, we were surprised that we couldn't find anything like it. You can try here for research: Canada Homeschooling - A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling
I have heard that TVO was involved in a homeschooling programme - I haven't researched it, but a little googling yielded this page: ILC Home

Let us know how you make out.
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Old 07-03-2009, 19:55   #7
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Thank you everyone for the really good suggestions here to study. It is so great to have a forum which to discuss matters like this. Thank you Cruisers Forum.
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Old 07-03-2009, 19:59   #8
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delmitch, & Lodesman. This is kind of of off question...but where are you planning to go?.
We were thinking the Bahamas chain would be a good start.
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Old 07-03-2009, 20:33   #9
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I'm suprised nobody has mentioned it yet... we're out and about for two years, and we're using the Calvert program to homeschool our 12 and 8 year olds. We started by following the curriculum verbatim but found that it took wayyyy too long every day, so we've used Calvert as a foundation. It's real nice to have a system for your first year - one less thing to worry about. The nice thing about Calvert is that there is no requirement for Internet access - you bring all the books with you. They can supplement portions over the Internet, but there is no real need. We're probably going to design our own curriculum next year, but for this year our modified approach to Calvert is working very well.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:15   #10
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S,

We haven't set an itinerary yet - it will depend a lot on where we buy a boat, as that will be the obvious jumping-off point. If we buy in Florida or the Carib (or anywhere between there and here) then it will be a year of cruising in the carib to see if it's the life for us. If we buy in the Med, then we'll cruise the med. The second factor will be timing - I think we would prefer to start in the summer so as not to have the kids switch gears in the middle of the school year, but like most things in life we expect that might be affected by things that are beyond our control. We don't want to go sailing into the hurricane zone during hurricane season.

Are you planning on sailing down from Ontario?

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Old 08-03-2009, 11:31   #11
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We were thinking it. We went to Wally Moran's presentation on the ICW at the Toronto Boat show. We thought, to not do it would be missing out on "part" of a trip of a lifetime. We currently sail Georgian Bay, so it would be a mini trip just to get to the beginings of the ICW.
However some new friends at the sailing club are planning to "Go" this August. They are going to spent a year going down the ICW, then over to Bahamas then back up. I figure they will be a wealth of information when they get back. They are taking a CS36. I think I'll offer him any help with prep work this summer. That way I can get an idea of what "prepping" a boat is like.
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Old 08-03-2009, 17:02   #12
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Going from Georgian Bay you might also consider the other half of the "Great Loop" America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:48   #13
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Hi there,
There are many ways to go with boatschooling your children, not just a packaged curriculum from the local school or correspondence school. So much depends on where you're going, for how long, and of course what your individual child's learning style is. That's the great benefit and freedom of homeschooling, you don't have to take the local school district's blanket approach to learning and toss it on your kid, you get to customize it to your child's passions and interests.

Please consider joining us at the Sailing Kids yahoo group for a more in depth discussion about home schooling and cruising with kids.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:07   #14
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SCampbell,

Our boat is currently in Bath, ON (just west of Kingston).
We will be leaving this summer for a year-long loop down the ICW, over to the Bahamas, then back up (possibly back up, we may just stay!).

I married for love, not money, so I will continue to work during the trip. I am in the offshore oil industry and will work a 28/28 rotation. My company will fly me from wherever, so logisitcs will be a bit muddled but manageable. My wife and kids will be on the boat alone for a month at a time in Cape Hatteras and Georgia. When I get back to the boat next December, I am going to take an extra month off, so that will give us a full 3 months to do the Bahamas, then head back to the Keys before I return to work.

Don't pass on the ICW. My wife and I did a year-long trip in another life (before the kids) back in 1998. Not all of the ICW is fun, especially in South Florida, but you will be amazed at some of the secluded locations there are, especially in Georgia and the Carolinas.

Since you don't have a boat yet and are considering the ICW and Bahamas, try not to go for anything drawing more than 5' (our cat will float in 18"). On our previous trip down the ICW we drew around 5' (1970 Douglas 31) and that limited us, plus from what I have read the water depths have gotten worse, not better.

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Good Luck,
Mark.
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Old 02-05-2010, 21:31   #15
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Questions about Prepping the boat for Homeschooling

Hello all -

I am new to the forum... looking for research regarding homeschooling aboard. My husband and I are looking to take the jump and start a year or two cruising aboard our boat with our two children, 4 and 6.

I have researched homeschooling curriculae and from what I read have figured out that many people use the program as a foundation but really tailor the education to their childrens' needs (personality, interest, location, etc.)

My questions more lie in how to prep your boat for the homeschooling. In other words, how many materials do you bring? If you have a purchase curriculum, do you really need to bring much more? Any ideas of where to buy used/inexpensive/bulk educational items? (eBay? Amazon, garage sales? all of the above?)

My children are at an age where they are beginning to read and at home we visit the local library frequently. But, how to keep the books fresh? Is it easy to trade books with other families? Or is it easy to acquire books and materials in other crusing locations?

Have you cruising families augmented studies with online resources, educational games, etc? How heavily have you relied on educational DVDs? Part of my wanting to take this trip is to get away from these technological distractions, I do think there may be some tools that may actually help?

Thoughts?
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